Archive for March, 2011

UGA nightmares and dreams: Tricked up uniforms, ‘Mount’ Jenkins

Let's hope this is some some fan's Photoshop fevered nightmare!

Let's hope this is some some fan's Photoshop fevered nightmare!

Ever since Nike started trotting out its controversial Pro Combat uniforms for some of its higher profile college football customers, rumors of a UGA variation have been circulating, usually accompanied by Photoshop faked pictures, most of them pretty nightmarish.

The rumors have taken on new life since the deal for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome with Boise State in September was announced. After all, the Broncos already have worn Pro Combat uniforms, most recently in their bowl game, and a high-profile game like that naturally would attract Nike’s attention.

The most recent chatter about the Dogs going the Pro Combat route, in the blog From Hedges to Hardwood, notes that the rumor surfaced again on what appears to be the Facebook page of recent Georgia signee John Jenkins. As the rumor goes, the deal to play in the Chick-fil-A game supposedly includes a stipulation of wearing Pro Combats.

I …

Continue reading UGA nightmares and dreams: Tricked up uniforms, ‘Mount’ Jenkins »

Time for the Dogs to put the ‘cancer’ talk behind them

Orson Charles has the right idea about how to approach this season. (The State)

Orson Charles has the right idea about how to approach this season. (The State)

A lot of what you hear from college football players in the offseason should be taken with a grain of salt.

It’s part of the team-building process to talk it up, so you get a lot of “we’re working harder than ever” chatter. We heard last year about how much harder the players were working and how much faster they were. Then came the 6-7 season and the conditioning coach and his supposedly infamous mat drills were out, and now we’re being told how much harder the players are working and how it’s paying off with them being much bigger and faster.

Whether that’s true or just more talk, we’ll see this fall.

Also, if the previous season wasn’t all it was expected to be, you tend to hear comments about how much better it is now in terms of leadership and attitude. The past couple of years we’ve heard a lot of that kind of talk from Georgia football players, and we’re hearing more of it this year. There …

Continue reading Time for the Dogs to put the ‘cancer’ talk behind them »

Brandon Boykin returning punts sounds like a good idea

Adding Brandon Boykin to the Dogs' punt return corps is an enticing prospect. (Associated Press)

Adding Brandon Boykin to the Dogs' punt return corps is an enticing prospect. (Associated Press)

Some Saturday morning musings …

I LIKE THIS: Brandon Boykin, who has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns so far in his career, was among the Dogs fielding punts in practice Thursday, along with Branden Smith (last year’s main punt returner), Tavarres King and Carlton Thomas. Said Boykin of the prospect of adding punt returns to his duties as cornerback and kickoff returner: “If they want me to return punts, I’m definitely up for it. Anytime I can get the ball in my hands, you know I’m going to say yes to it.” Hey, might as well go for broke with ace returner Logan Gray gone!

I ALSO LIKE THIS: A lot of folks did double-takes at published shots of Kwame Geathers at practice this week and how huge and yet in great shape he looks. Geathers says he’s up to 344 pounds now (from a listed 325 before the bowl game) but maintains the added weight is muscle. “My body fat went down,” …

Continue reading Brandon Boykin returning punts sounds like a good idea »

UGA needs to decide if it really wants tailgating or not

Grilling was part of the North Campus tailgating scene in 2009 before the restrictions were put in place. (Photo by Bill King)

Grilling was part of the North Campus tailgating scene in 2009 before the restrictions were put in place. (Photo by Bill King)

I’m not sure what the UGA committee assigned with issuing game day rules hopes to accomplish with the “easing” of North Campus tailgate restrictions announced Thursday.

The changes don’t amount to a whole lot: Tables can now be 6 feet long instead of just 4; set-up can now be five hours before kickoff instead of four; and, most notably, tents are allowed again. The five-hour limit might make things a bit easier for morning tailgating on the days of noon games, but still pretty much will preclude much of a tailgating scene if kickoff is scheduled for mid-afternoon or evening.

And the other restrictions instituted last season remain in place. No kegs, generators, TVs, amplified music, grills or cookers of any type or household furniture (folding chairs not included). It’s hard to imagine many folks wanting to go to the trouble of hauling a tent and table …

Continue reading UGA needs to decide if it really wants tailgating or not »

UGA fans revere Hines Ward as the Bulldog who never quit

Hines Ward closed out his UGA career in style. (Associated Press)

Hines Ward closed out his UGA career in style. (Associated Press)

If you want to find agreement among UGA fans, bring up the name of Hines Ward.

Currently competing on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Ward is known by the rest of the country for his long career as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers and a Super Bowl MVP for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But for Georgia fans he’ll forever be the quintessential Bulldog, a guy who just wanted to get into the game and was willing to play any position to do so.

Recruited as a quarterback, Ward ended up playing running back and receiver as a freshman, then was thrown into the breach by Ray Goff as a sophomore after Mike Bobo was injured, starting at quarterback against Alabama even though he hadn’t practiced with the QBs since the previous year. The results weren’t pretty that first go-round, but when another QB injury necessitated Ward going back behind center later in the season, a legend was born.

Those who saw Ward’s valiant effort …

Continue reading UGA fans revere Hines Ward as the Bulldog who never quit »

UGA coaches looking to see who wins spring Dawg fights

Can Jakar Hamilton win back a starting job at safety? (Associated Press)

Can Jakar Hamilton win back a starting job at safety? (Associated Press)

After one practice March 10 and then releasing the hounds to play on the beach in Key West and other fun locales, Mark Richt gathers his team back on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens today to get serious about spring ball.

Between now and G-Day on April 16, some veterans will be trying to solidify their hold on a starting position (a few looking over their shoulders at the new guys coming in August) while other spots have been left pretty wide open by departures, as we discussed back before the first practice.

The bottom line, Mike Bobo told the Athens Banner-Herald, “is there’s going to be competition, you want competition. There’s going to be competition at every position on either side of the ball. We went 6-7, we didn’t get the job done. We didn’t finish at the end of games last year. We’ve got to have competition.”

While in reality some players probably do have their position …

Continue reading UGA coaches looking to see who wins spring Dawg fights »

Quick exit shouldn’t overshadow Dogs’ turnaround

Trey Thompkins came up big in what may have been his last game as a Dog. (Associated Press)

Trey Thompkins came up big in what may have been his last game as a Dog. (Associated Press)

It may have indeed been, as the headline put it, “one and done” for the Georgia Bulldogs in this year’s NCAA tournament, but Mark Fox’s players still can hold their heads high.

After years of being an SEC doormat, the Dogs were picked for the tournament in just Fox’s second year as coach and managed to make a game of it against a higher seed that’s become a regular at the Dance.

The streaky first half, which saw both teams hot and cold at times, held great promise, as Georgia kept the high-scoring Washington Huskies from setting the fast pace they like and played some tough defense. The Dogs even led by as much as seven points, as U-Dub shot poorly for much of the half and their star Isaiah Thomas was held to a mere four points while Georgia’s Trey Thompkins was superb, with 15 points and eight rebounds.

But the problems that plagued Georgia all season were still present at Time Warner …

Continue reading Quick exit shouldn’t overshadow Dogs’ turnaround »

Dogs know all too well spring can be a mean season

Zach Mettenberger wound up playing junior college ball in Kansas after his spring break transgressions last year. (Butler Community College)

Zach Mettenberger wound up playing junior college ball in Kansas after his spring break transgressions last year. (Butler Community College)

The Georgia Bulldogs are on spring break, and for those of us who are emotionally invested in the fortunes of the Red and Black football program it’s sort of like waiting up for your teenager to make it home safe and sound on New Year’s Eve.

Mark Richt’s team has scattered far and wide (which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing, as away from UGA they’re much less likely to run afoul of campus cops lurking to find unsuspecting athletes breaking rules about emerging from alleys and such). So far, thankfully, the only report we’ve gotten from any off-campus adventures is the four Dawgs who stopped to help at a wreck on on I-95 outside Miami on their way to Key West.

But while the alleged robbery crew from Auburn appears to have assured UGA of not winning a second consecutive Fulmer Cup, we all remember last year and the kind of …

Continue reading Dogs know all too well spring can be a mean season »

Is Richt on a slippery slope when it comes to secondary violations?

Did Mark Richt forget UGA has a guy on staff whose job is to make sure the rules are followed? (Associated Press)

Did Mark Richt forget UGA has a guy on staff whose job is to make sure the rules are followed? (Associated Press)

So what did you think of Mark Richt being tagged for an NCAA rules violation in the recruiting of Isaiah Crowell?

It’s a given that the violation, considered “secondary” by UGA and unlikely to draw any further punishment from the NCAA, is pretty picayune compared with some of the stuff going on these days in college recruiting.

The vast majority of UGA fans appear to feel it was definitely worth Richt crossing the line in order to land a must-have recruit like Crowell. A lot of folks admire his gumption in pushing the envelope.

But it’s worth noting that the true “missing man” in Richt’s recruiting stunt was Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance Eric Baumgartner, who’s there to advise coaches what’s a violation and what isn’t.

The problem is that Richt didn’t bother to check whether his little skit was allowed. According to Athletic Director Greg McGarity’s

Continue reading Is Richt on a slippery slope when it comes to secondary violations? »

I’m still glad Mark Fox is Georgia’s basketball coach

You can question Mark Fox's use of timeouts Friday, but he's still done a remarkable coaching job. (Jason Getz / AJC)

You can question Mark Fox's use of timeouts Friday, but he's still done a remarkable coaching job. (Jason Getz / AJC)

At the office, I sit under one of the newsroom televisions, and early Friday afternoon a group of coworkers had gathered standing behind me. The boss walked by and cracked, “What, everyone’s watching Bill work?”

Sure, if by work you mean trying to edit a story while keeping one eye on the Georgia-Alabama game in the SEC basketball tournament.

It was looking good there for a while, but knowing the history of Mark Fox’s team this season I wasn’t too comfortable, even when the Dogs were up by 14 points with a little under 7 minutes left in the game.

About three minutes later, a couple of guys from sports were discussing plans for continued coverage of Georgia in the SEC tourney when I spoke up: “Hey, this game’s not over yet.” The lead had already been cut to 7 and I feared UGA was reverting to the midseason form that had seen them blow double-digit second-half …

Continue reading I’m still glad Mark Fox is Georgia’s basketball coach »